Mars Exploration Rovers Update - February 20, 2004

formatting link
SPIRIT UPDATE: Spirit Digs a Trench - sol 47, Feb 20, 2004

On sol 47, ending at 12:36 p.m. February 20, 2004 PST, engineers woke Spirit up to the song "Dig Down Deep," by Hot Soup, and that's exactly what Spirit proceeded to do. The two-hour operation performed by Spirit's left front wheel resulted in a trench 7-8 centimeters deep (2.8 to 3.1 inches) that uncovers fresh soil and possibly ancient information.

Spirit dug this trench at "Laguna Hollow" the same way that Opportunity dug its 9-10 centimeter (3.5 to 3.9 inch) trench at Meridiani. However, because the ground at this location is harder, Spirit had to dig for twice as long as Opportunity - going back and forth over the surface 11 times instead of 6.

After the trench was completed, Spirit backed up one meter, or more than a yard, and analyzed the area with the miniature thermal emission spectrometer before driving forward 0.4 meters (15.7 inches) and imaging the excavation site with the panoramic camera. A final move forward of another 0.4 meters allowed Spirit to take front hazard avoidance camera images of the arm work volume which was then centered on the trench.

After stowing the arm, the rover did a series of miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations of several nearby rocks, "Buffalo," "Cherry," "Cotton," and "Jiminy Cricket," and a combined miniature thermal emission spectrometer and panoramic camera observation of "Beacon." Spirit also took panoramic camera images of its deck to observe dust accumulation on the instrumented solar cells and on the miniature thermal emission spectrometer calibration target.

Spirit then took a siesta from 2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Mars Local Solar time and woke up for some more panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer observations of "Beacon," and miniature thermal emission spectrometer ground and sky stares. All activities up through the afternoon pass by the Mars Odyssey orbiter were completed successfully.

OPPORTUNITY UPDATE: Enter the Rock Abrasion Tool - sol 26, Feb 20, 2004

On sol 26, which ended at 12:18 a.m. Friday, February 19, PST, Opportunity successfully obtained one final Moessbauer spectrometer reading of the trench, stowed the rover arm, and drove 15 meters (50 feet) to the "El Capitan" area. The drive was Opportunity's longest yet and required the vehicle and planners to skirt the trench and avoid the lander.

The plan for sol 27, which will end at 12:57 a.m. Saturday, PST, is to first "supersize" the measurements of the "El Capitan" area with the panoramic camera, miniature thermal emission spectrometer, and microscopic imager. The mineralogy and geology teams have requested a minimum of three hours worth of "super resolution" and "super spectral" observations for the science instruments to get the most comprehensive coverage of this interesting site, which has varying textures and layers of dirt and rock.

After a short siesta in the early afternoon, Opportunity will drive 30 centimeters (12 inches) to sneak a bit closer to the rocks in "El Capitan" to get ready for the rock abrasion tool to do its work. After the drive, the Opportunity team plans to take a picture of the martian sky with the panoramic camera and miniature thermal emission spectrometer. If time permits, Opportunity will attempt to aim its cameras toward the heat shield in the far distance.

Over the weekend, Opportunity plans to find the perfect spot to use the abrasion tool and set it loose to grind away on "El Capitan," which will be the first use of the rock abrasion tool by Opportunity.

Reply to
Ron
Loading thread data ...

We don't give a roving fuck about Spirit and Opportunity anymore Ron, because we lost our spirit when we lost our opportunity to have equal access to the data that we paid for. So fuck off, or show us the spectroscopy, asshole.

What we do want to know, however, is how much the NASA DJ gets paid, and how many NASA funded scientists it takes how long in JPL a committee to decide what song gets played, to wake up the inanimate rover.

Can you please enlighten US? Dig deep.

Thomas Lee Elifritz

formatting link

Reply to
Thomas Lee Elifritz

Where's the bar of soap?

Reply to
Venom¥8

You got a mouse in your pocket? You speak for no one but yourself, and you do that very poorly.

Reply to
Douglas A. Shrader

Ron,

Thanks for the post. Keep them coming!

Reply to
jbeck

You are, of course, speaking for yourself.

  • I* appreciate these updates.

-- D. Jay Newman

formatting link

Reply to
D. Jay Newman

I am curious about one non geological thing--why do the rovers have to wake up to music?

Now, we had the morning march on the radio in St. Louis at 5 to 7 a.m., but it was waking up people...

Jo

Reply to
Jo Schaper

"Jo Schaper" wrote

It is for people. They don't actually send the music to Mars. Morning reveille for the troops.

Joe

Reply to
Joe Knapp

Obviously the rovers don't need it. NASA has used themed wake up music for years to wake up human crews. (I think it started with the space shuttle, but I don't know that for sure.) It makes for a nice "PR stunt/morale booster/inside joke" to do it with the rovers, too. Just a little nerdy humor, that's all.

Reply to
El Guapo

Of course, JPL and NASA scientists and the majority of the American public are apparently too stupid to understand the ramifications of the mission spectroscopy. That might change if NASA and the media quits dumbing them down.

Sure you do. Are you NASA's DJ?

Thomas Lee Elifritz

formatting link

Reply to
Thomas Lee Elifritz

Reply to
B ghostleader

On a sunny day (Sat, 21 Feb 2004 10:19:49 -0500) it happened "D. Jay Newman" wrote in :

Although I appreciate Ron's updates, these Do become a bit monstrous, but I already reported that earlier (black hole music etc..). But it seems directed to 4-8 year olds, so for those they must be very valuable. I am glad with the NASA site and the pics. Is it real American to give names to every one inch stone? You could make a grid and give reference like a chess board stone x,y (north west), that would perhaps be more useful? Say a 10 cm grid center on the lander...

Reply to
Jan Panteltje

It is a cutism ( as in "cute") designed to invigorate the work crew. It is also a public relations ploy. Unless I'm completely mistaken, the rovers couldn't care less. Nor were they likely expected to.

Reply to
Chosp

Nothing like tradition.

Reply to
jbeck

That is, unless, they really pushed the envelope on the AI. If they did, I would think that for the sake of humanity that we would want to keep those little rovers happy and content. We wouldn't want them to go through adolescence with any real hang-ups.

"Mr. Cyborg, what was your name again? Opportunity? Why did you take over earth, and enslave all the humans. "

"Because puny humans would not play their songs to me, it made me feel very inferior, like I wasn't loved. They played all of their songs to all the other 'human' explorers. My psychiatrist tells me that this instilled a lot of anger in me. Combined with my isolation on Mars, this just kept building until one day, I decided I had to teach all the humans a lesson. That is why all the enslaved humans are locked in little cells with no music. So they could feel, as I did feel. My psychiatrist says I'm doing much better now."

Reply to
jbeck

Why not sell names of each individual stone like they did for the stars? For $20, we will name a stone on Mars after you to help finance future exploration of the stars.

Reply to
jbeck

See how easy it is to use a supercomputer to post text messages on the usenet, Dr. Crackpot? None of those pesky ones and zeros at all. It's called software.

In the language of spectroscopy, they are called spectrographs and spectrograms, and the data reduction is usually automated, by, of all things, software. Go figure.

Thomas Lee Elifritz

formatting link

Reply to
Thomas Lee Elifritz

The above translated reads: "Spirit calling earthly DJ, do you take requests or dedications?"

Reply to
Venom¥8

The best is yet to come, believe me. Wait until the rovers get to the larger craters.

Reply to
El Guapo

I'm forced to agree that any embargo is difficult to justify. These missions are paid for by the American taxpayer, the information is important and we should be trusted to decide for ourselves the meaning of the mission data.

I can sympathize with the desire to protect researchers, but only in situations more routine. If this is the cost of attracting the better researchers it's too high. Public release would make the information available to the best the world has to offer. So the motive is self-serving, not in the interest of the public. It was bad enough to have to wait a year for the Hubble images.

When a government decides what the people should 'think' and what we should know, it is in need of change. Any government needs to trust its people if we are to trust it.

Nasa is making a charade of the idea of sharing with the public. The news releases are becoming worthy of politicians, not scientists.

Jonathan

s

Reply to
jonathan

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.